Putting the Magic of Tidying Up into Practice with Cladwell

You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering manifesto, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up, right? The idea behind the movement to simplify your home, and ultimately your life, by paring down the physical things in your space. The idea is that simplicity, order, and cleanliness in your space will help you in all other aspects of your life.  Hell, her work has turned her into a cult favorite.

Famous for her no-nonsense approach to simplifying, her philosophy makes sense. At least to me, the more things we have cluttering our space, physically, the more likely we are to sleep less, worry more, and be less focused. But how do you even tackle the pairing down project? Where do you start? How do you make decisions that you wont regret later? (Side Note: I used to have a gorgeous multi-colored maxi dress, that I was in love with. It was comfortable and perfect for baby showers or bridal showers as well as backyard BBQs. Unfortunately, my ex-husband hated it and made it known every time I put it on.  I eventually gave it away as a result. I still wish I had it.) What in the world is “my style?”

One company has just started thinking about how to monetize the simplification movement and came up with a pretty interesting business plan. Meet Cladwell, a company that helps men and women (they have a separate site for men, here) find their true style and simplify their lives–without selling them more clothing.

Why Cladwell?


I was perusing Facebook when I came across an ad for the service. It piqued my interest because, in all honesty, I have a glut of clothes, purses, shoes and jewelry that are spilling out of my closet as we speak. (See those photos? That’s only one half of it).

Many of the pieces I still have and hang onto are vestiges of another time and another person. They are clothes that remind me of things that I’d rather not relive every time I walk into the closet–and it’s high time that I said goodbye to them–but the process of ridding myself of the weight of those material items is overwhelming at best.

Hence why Cladwell interests me.

What does Cladwell do?


From what I can gather from the limited information on the site, and a few spotty reviews I found around the web, the service helps you “hone in on your style.” The process, according to AdviceFromATwentySomething.com is intense. First you take all the items you own and put them into categories of things you love, and things that you just kind of like. You dump the entire contents of your dressers and closets out on the bedroom floor and get ruthless. Then you take close stock of the things you love and find the common thread running through them to help get a better idea of color palettes you like, materials, and styles. Then you make a list of the activities you do on a regular basis and what you wear to do them in. Cladwell helps you put together what they call a Capsule. You go through and mark off what you have and use those as the basis for your wardrobe. The other thing to note, is that Cladwell does not sell clothing–they simply help you hone your style perception and stick to it. In theory, the long term result is that you end up saving money because you don’t buy as often or as much. Caldwell says that their process saves you as much as $600 a year.

So here’s the plan:

I’m a little skeptical but it does seem like a relatively interesting idea-a sort of guided meditation on the things you love and wear regularly and those that you can do without. Maybe I’ll find I have more peace of mind knowing that I don’t have to dig through 10,000 items every time I have to pack for a business trip. Maybe I’ll always be able to find those damn yoga pants I love.

Even if I’m not so thrilled with the idea of going back to 1930s era days when a woman only had 36 items in her closet (as their slick Vimeo video points out), I could certainly use some help and motivation to pair down my overwhelming wardrobe.

So, to that end, and in the interest of “science,” I am going to sign up for their $5 per-month service and walk you through the experience so you see what exactly all this simplification entails–and whether or not it’s ultimately worth it.

My theory is if peace of mind can come for just $5 a month it’s worth it.

Stay tuned here at CNTRL for more on how things progress!

Want more on fashion? You’ll love these posts:

How Technology is Fighting Counterfeit Couture

Would you buy Om Malik’s Second-Hand Clothes?

Abigail Bassett

Abigail Bassett is a full-time freelance journalist, content creator, and television, video, and podcast host whose work has appeared in publications like TechCrunch, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, Motor Trend, Shondaland, Money Magazine, and on CNN. Her passion is telling unique stories that change the way we see, interact with, and relate to the world. She is also a Yoga Alliance Registered 500-hour yoga teacher.


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